U.S. Secretary Of Commerce Wilbur Ross Speaks Exclusively to WCCB About Economy & Civil Unrest

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – “I do think this is gonna be a relatively short-lived problem. So as long as people don’t lose hope, I think they can come back out of it,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said Thursday about the economic recovery from the pandemic.

Ross, at The Ballantyne Hotel Thursday, spoke to a group of eight North Carolina hospitality industry leaders and Congressman Richard Hudson of North Carolina for about an hour. After his closed remarks, Ross sat down with WCCB TV’s Morgan Fogarty.

The secretary says he is optimistic that the post-pandemic economic recovery will be faster than the recovery of 2008 for several reasons. He says the savings rate in March was 13 percent, compared to 3 percent in 2009. The federal government has put twice as much money into curing this problem, he says, compared to 2008. And banks report that most low-balance customers have more cash now in their account than they did before the coronavirus.

Ross says, “While the total unemployment figures are quite scary, the economic impact is far smaller than it had been before,” and, “That’s why I believe it will be a V-shaped recovery.” Secretary Ross says the recovery could begin as soon as next month.

Fogarty also asked him what he thinks about the civil unrest across the country after the death of George Floyd. Ross says, “Everybody has to be appalled at what happened to him. Everybody has got to be appalled at what has happened to other people of color. On the other hand, there have been an infiltration of evil-doers in what would have been peaceful and respectful protests. That can’t be tolerated.”

Nearly two million people nationwide filed for unemployment last week. That’s about 250,000 fewer than the week before. More than 42 million people have lost their jobs since mid-March.